LARNED — Mac Davis hit the big time with a country hit that had these words: “Happiness was Lubbock, Texas, in my rear view mirror.”
Could that be Kansas State’s thoughts come Saturday evening?
The Wildcats come into this Texas Tech game with a 4-4 record and though they are on a two-game winning streak, they still need two more wins to become bowl eligible.
Yes, Kansas provides a probable win, but even that could be problematic, being in Lawrence.
Even if they do defeat the struggling but improving Jayhawks, the ’Cats still have to find another win out of their remaining games with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and TCU.
None of us would be comfortable betting all we have on that happening, though two of the three are in Manhattan.
Kansas State’s unorthodox two-quarterback system has produced a passing game that nets an average of 226 yards per game while giving up 217 yards per game.
The Red Raiders of Texas Tech with their pass-happy offense have torched opposing defenses for 414 yards passing per game. That’s nearly 200 yards difference for Kansas State, so obviously something’s got to give!
Lubbock, Texas, might have looked good in Mac Davis’ rear view mirror, but it doesn’t look good to opponents. “The Jones,” JONES AT&T STADIUM, will have over 60,000 rabid cowboys and cowgirls screaming at the Wildcats, stomping their boots on the floor and begging for another touchdown pass.
Kansas State has shown a weakness or two in pass defense and in giving up big plays.
Baylor did it. So will Texas Tech.
Red Raiders 30, Kansas State 24. Lubbock won’t look so good in the rear-view mirror!
PREP PIGSKIN — Barton County’s football-playing schools have not had a stellar year.
The Great Bend Panthers faded down the stretch and ended up with a losing 4-5 slate.
Hoisington’s Cardinals, though they made the playoffs, measured out a 4-5 record of which the high point was an upset of Larned, which finished 7-2.
The Ellinwood Eagles, meanwhile, had high hopes dashed with a second consecutive 0-9 season.
Central Plains kind of straddles the Barton County line, so I didn’t include them in the county though they are a major player and many of the athletes come from the Claflin area. They had a fine 8-1 regular-season record and made it into the playoffs.
Ellinwood will drop to Eight-Man Division-I next year. It takes good athletes to win at that level too, but just not as many of them and when roster size is a factor, that is important.
Many area schools have difficulty getting all of the athletes out for football. It’s like the “chicken and the egg.” Which came first, losing or small rosters?
The good news is that all of our schools played a lot of young talent this year, gaining valuable experience, so 2014 should be a better year in the Golden Belt!
CHALK TALK — I look for Kansas to play well again Saturday in Stillwater but the Oklahoma State Cowboys will prevail, even if T. Boone Pickens has to throw another million or two on the field! Oklahoma State 38, Kansas 24 ... The so-called “bullying” affair going on with the Miami Dolphins has a quizzical aspect. How in the heck do you “bully” a guy who is 6-foot-6, 312-pounds? And another thing: is it just a coincidence or a little bit of a pattern that the bully, Richie Incognito, is a former Nebraska football player and the other, most fined, “big bully, dirty player” in the NFL is Ndamukong Suh, another former Nebraska player. What are they feeding those guys up in Lincoln? That brings up the joke about “What do you say to a Nebraska football player dressed in a three-piece suit? “WILL THE DEFENDANT PLEASE RISE?” And, the final thought on this mess, WHAT A NAME! Richie Incognito. INCOGNITO? Betcha he’s not anymore! ... I don’t know about you but I’m tired of all of these stories about the Chiefs and “How good are they?” It doesn’t matter. They are 9-0. That’s all that matters!
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned